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Two of three suspected carriers of coronavirus in Va. test negative; UVa says threat is low

RICHMOND — Two of three possible cases of the coronavirus respiratory outbreak under review by the Virginia Department of Health tested negative on Monday.

Results were confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The third is still under investigation, according to the state health department. Test results for this patient are expected later this week.

Previously, these two suspected cases were said to meet “both clinical and epidemiologic criteria for 2019-nCov,” or the coronavirus, according to the VDH’s website.

The virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan and is responsible for more than 80 deaths in the country so far, according to the The Associated Press, which reports more than 2,700 new cases of the viral respiratory illness have been confirmed since the initial outbreak.

The illness belongs to a large family of viruses that include the common cold, and symptoms range in severity from cold-like issues to more serious respiratory infections, such as MERS and SARS.

On Sunday, George Mason University issued a statement about unconfirmed reports that a student was sick with coronavirus; the statement neither confirmed nor denied the rumors, but said officials were working with state and federal officials and urged all to follow good hygiene and disease prevention precautions.

On Friday, the University of Virginia told students, faculty and staff that it was monitoring the outbreak.

Officials said they regarded the threat of the virus to Charlottesville residents as “low,” but reminded anyone planning to travel to China of a current travel advisory in place for Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province.

They asked anyone who has recently been to Wuhan and now exhibits symptoms of the virus to seek medical assistance through a primary care physician.

Virginia Commonwealth University health officials similarly have said that while there were no confirmed cases of the virus in their region, they were working with state and federal departments’ screening and response protocols.


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